carrignacurra from smiths 1750 map of cork county (cork archives)

Dr Elena Turk has extensive experience in archival research. Past projects have required combining information from local, national and international archive collections. This information can be drawn together to create a detailed picture of the past, and, in some cases, can lead to the discovery of new and exciting facts about the history of a local area. Elena has authored a number of books for Cork County Council, including Heritage Bridges of County Cork (with Lisa Levis Carey, which you can download for free at and Heritage Houses of County Cork (download at, she has also written a chapter for a book in the same series discussing connections with Europe. Bluebrick heritage has continued to work with the council in the delivery of the rest of the series, creating mapping timelines and other illustrations for the books.

Arhives are primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of a person’s or organisation’s lifetime. Everyone can have their own archive, composed of diaries, letters, legal documents and so on. Archival records are almost always unique, unlike books or magazines, for which many copies exist. In some cases these documents have survived for a long time, and have been selected for permanent or long-term preservation because they are of cultural, historical or educational interest. They are sometimes curated in national or local archival repositories- for example the National Archives of Ireland (, the Irish architectural archives (, the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland ( or local collections typically held in county or city libraries or county museums.